Daily Israel Report

Govt. Approves 'Affirmative Action' Work Plan for Haredim

Government approves a plan aimed at enrolling more members of the hareidi community in the state civil service.
By Yosef Berger
First Publish: 5/25/2014, 5:33 PM

Hareidi women at work
Hareidi women at work
Flash90

The government on Sunday approved a plan that would implement “affirmative action” to enroll more members of the hareidi community in the state civil service.

The plan was authored by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, and is seen as an important component in the government's plan to encourage more haredi Israelis to leave yeshiva and go to work.

The plan approved Sunday calls on the appointment of a panel that will hammer out details of the program. Specific milestones, with requirements such as minimum education and previous employment, will be relaxed, while remedial programs in language and math will be implemented to bring candidates up to speed on how to do their jobs. The panel will evaluate various open positions in the state civil service and decide which ones haredi recruits would be most suited for.

The program, the government hopes, will function as an example of the proper way to integrate members of the hareidi community into the workforce.

Speaking at Sunday's cabinet meeting, where the plan was approved, Netanyahu said that the plan was being proposed for the good of the haredi community.

“The panel will set a policy based on long-term goals of integrating more hareidi Israelis into the workforce, with the objective of increasing the participation rate of hareidi Israelis into the economy. Integrating haredi Israelis into the civil service will act as a magnet to bring even more members of the community into the general workforce,” Netanyahu said.

It comes as the government revoked "discriminatory" stipends for yeshiva students in favor of increased benefits for IDF soldiers.